rules-and-procedure

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

McConnell: Democratic ‘Blue Slips’ Won’t Block Trump Judges
Says objections home-state Democrats will only indicate dissent

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made his most pointed comments yet about judicial nominations. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that Senate Republicans intend to get President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed no matter what obstacles the Democrats throw their way.

The Kentucky Republican has now confirmed he plans to move forward on judicial nominees even if home-state Democratic senators don’t return their so-called “blue slips” to the Judiciary Committee.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.

Senate Considers Broadening Budget Resolution
Move would allow GOP to legislate on more topics without filibuster fear

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves after speaking to reporters in the Capitol following the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is considering beefing up the fiscal 2018 budget resolution to address a broader swath of issues beyond a tax overhaul, including the rollback of regulations on the financial industry, lawmakers said.

The additions might not be included in the Senate’s version before a floor vote, lawmakers said, but could be added during an expected conference with the House. The Senate Budget Committee begins its markup of the budget resolution Wednesday.  

Cassidy Eyes Changes to Health Care Bill While Trying to Win Support
Senate GOP opted not to take a vote on measure last week

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy has not given up on his health care overhaul plans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said there will be changes to a proposal he wrote to overhaul the 2010 health law as he and fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina try to win more support for the measure while other lawmakers focus on tax legislation.

“There are some things that inevitably have to change, but we do think that the format of what we’re doing and the principles of what we’re doing are good and that the American people will like it because it’s ultimately about fairness,” Cassidy said Monday on the Big Story Podcast with CQ Roll Call.

Why It Looks Like the Senate’s Debating the Defense Bill Again
Democrats anticipate GOP effort to reverse CFPB rule

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren expects the real floor business to be about overturning a consumer protection rule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reading the Senate schedule Tuesday might give off a serious sense of deja vu. But there is a reason for that. 

Officially, senators are getting set to debate proceeding to the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill. But wait, one might ask: Wasn’t Armed Services Chairman John McCain just on the floor for days overseeing that bill? Yes.

Full GOP Tax Proposal Will Wait Until Later
Outline to be released this week, but full treatment awaits budget resolution

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says more details on the GOP tax plan are coming, but not the full package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If the tax overhaul framework congressional leaders and White House officials are releasing Wednesday fails to appease rank-and-file member calls for more details, House Republican leaders may find themselves still short of the votes needed to pass a budget. That’s especially problematic given that tax writers are not planning to unveil a full tax plan until after the House and Senate pass a reconciled budget.

“After the unified Republican plan is announced on Wednesday, the House and Senate will turn toward passing a budget that includes reconciliation instructions that will ensure that we can deliver tax reform to the president’s desk by the end of the year,” House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters Monday during a break from a retreat the GOP committee members held to discuss the tax plan.

Ryan Says House Would Vote on Graham-Cassidy If Senate Passes It
'It is our best last chance to get repeal and replace done,' speaker says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says the House will vote on a health care measure to provide block grant funding to the states if the Senate passes it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday that the House would bring up a health care measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy for a vote if it were to pass the Senate.

“It would be our intention to bring the matter through,” Ryan said at a news conference from a Harley Davidson facility in Wisconsin, where he was promoting GOP plans to overhaul the tax code.

Senators Could Lose ‘Blue Slip’ Input on Circuit Judges
President would have less reason to consult with lawmakers

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has signaled he might end a tradition that gives senators a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A looming showdown over a Senate tradition could strip senators of a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts — and give President Donald Trump less reason to consult with senators about which judges should be appointed.

The Judiciary Committee’s “blue slip” process has required senators to return a blue slip of paper before the committee schedules hearings and markups of nominees for federal judgeships from their home states. No slip, no hearing. That has made it essential for the White House to get a senator’s buy-in on a nomination.

Closed-Door Process Might Threaten Tax Timeline in Senate
Lack of consensus on budget could push back tax overhaul deadline

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among the Republicans calling for more information about the tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The closed-door process under which Republican congressional leaders and the Trump administration are crafting an overhaul of the United States tax code could impede the Senate’s timeline for the effort.

Lawmakers say they have yet to receive key details, making it difficult to craft a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that will ultimately serve as the vehicle to advance the tax bill.